Hi, I’m Chris. I like playing games so much I started making them. I like playing games with complex storylines. I like games with deep characters. I like games with heart. But that’s not why you have a gaming squad. I also like playing competitive games.
I picked up Halo first when I was fourteen, because I loved sci-fi, and at the time, this was the game to have. I continued playing the Halo series because I had loved the first’s single player campaign, but strangely enough, it was this game (well, actually the third one) that was my gradual introduction into competitive gaming. Before this, I was absolutely against it; I believed games should teach and entertain, not pit people against one another. Before I knew it, I was entirely engrossed in Halo 3’s multiplayer, and I hadn’t the slightest clue why. It wasn’t the teamwork and camaraderie I had once enjoyed as a highschool kid in marching band, but I was able to game with my roommate.
I thought the true reason I was pulled to competitive gaming was revealed when I realized I could become markedly better at something I really enjoyed. Every mistake I made, I was able to go back and analyze, and I would sometimes watch the replay and find out exactly what happened. Where did I make mistakes? Was it possible for me to create a different outcome by reacting differently? Why did I make the decisions I made? I often found my perceptions in the heat of the moment were far from what actually transpired. This simple process of analysis became the foundation of my love for competitive gaming, but it wasn’t the whole enchilada.
Years later, Starcraft 2 was nearing release, and as an enthralled fanboy of Blizzard’s games, especially the Starcraft series, I couldn’t wait to see the release. When I received a key allowing me to participate in the Beta I sprang into action. I wasn’t quite sure why, seeing as I was historically still drawn to solo adventures, and the single player campaign wasn’t available just yet. I was also admittedly pretty terrible at the original Starcraft. What I soon realized was that I was able to apply the lessons I learned in Halo 3 to this newfound competition. I reviewed every replay by the second. The matches I won I watched with enthusiasm, but the ones I lost I watched even closer. Bit by bit, match by match, I fought my way from the bottom of Bronze league up to the top league, Platinum. Sometime after the game’s release, they had added a new league, Diamond, and I rose to rank 1. I wasn’t terribly good starting out at Starcraft, but the more I pushed to learn from my mistakes, the more I grew.
A year or so later, most of my friends that had been playing had dropped off from Starcraft, and a different group of them were playing League of Legends. I had played in LoL’s Beta as well, but had stopped when I only knew one other person who actually had it installed. But this time, I was playing a few matches every day, and a few ranked team games every week. I tried climbing the ladder — I even got a glimpse of Gold — but this time, I realized the real reason I like playing competitive games. It wasn’t about learning from my mistakes, so I could climb the ladder, and I could be the best.
I just wanted to play with my friends.
And so here we are, Stacks Gaming Squad. Here we are.